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152          MY    COUNTRY    AND    MY    PEOPLE

"helpful wife and wise mother." The Chinese drama usually
ends up happily with the refrain, "May all the lovers of the
world become united in wedlock!'9

VI. THE COURTESAN AND CONCUBINAGE

This is all very nice so far as woman goes. Woman is
"helpful wife and wise mother." She is loyal, she is obedient,
she is always a good mother, and she is instinctively chaste.
The trouble is with man. Man sins, and he must sin, but every
time he sins there is a woman in it.

Eros, who rules the world, rules China also. Some Western
travellers have ventured the opinion that in China we find
comparatively less sex repression than in the West, owing to a
more frank acceptance of sex in human life. Havelock Ellis
has noted that modern civilization has surrounded man with
the greatest sexual stimulation coupled with the greatest
sexual repression. To an extent, sexual stimulation and sexual
repression are less in China. But this is only half the truth. The
more frank acceptance of sex applies to man and not to woman,
whose sexual life is often repressed. The clearest instance is
that of Feng Hsiaoch'ing, who lived when Shakespeare was
doing his best work (1595-1612), and who, as concubine, was
forbidden to see her husband and was shut up in a villa in the
West Lake by the jealous wife, and who consequently developed
the most singular case of narcissism. She showed inclinations
to look at her own image in the water, and shortly before her
death she had three successive portraits of herself made, to
which she burned incense and offered sacrifice in self-pity.
Accidentally she left some verse in an amah's hands which
showed poetic genius.

On the other hand, there is no sexual repression for men,
especially those of the richer class. Most well-known respect-
able scholars, like the poets Su Tungp'o, Ch'in Shaoyii, Tu Mu
and Po Chtiyi, went to courtesans' houses, or had courtesans
for their concubines, and frankly said so. In fact, to be an
official and avoid dinners with female entertainers was im-
possible. There was no opprobrium attached to it. Through